We were a sweet little family of three. Our daughter, Jessica was our heart and we felt so blessed to have such a happy family. Our home was filled with laughter, joy and unconditional love.
Although we were a very happy and close family, we felt like a very, very special person was missing. We tried for several years to have another child but it just was not meant to happen. It soon became clear that God had another plan for us. Adoption was the answer we were looking for and we knew with all our hearts it was a beautiful way to build a family.
Our journey began on a clear October morning when my husband, daughter and myself sat down and started working on the paperwork for our adoption. The minute we began the process we felt something very special. We knew with each step of the journey we were closer to the little soul that was missing.
For us the adoption process was exciting. Our daughter was six years olds at the time and she helped us decorate the baby’s room and put together our adoption profile book. We would sit for hours picking out just the right pictures and writing letters to our future birthmother. Although we did not know our birthmother yet, we prayed for her every night. We knew that she was somewhere out in the big world and we prayed she felt loved, safe and hopeful.
Months went by and seasons passed with no one choosing us. I began to get a little sad but my husband would always say, “our birthmother and future baby are out there somewhere. Be strong for them. They need us and we need them. Keep praying and hoping and it will happen soon.”
One day while on a business trip I received the phone call that would forever change my life. Our caseworker called to say that a birthmother wanted to talk to us on the phone. I was so excited I could hardly speak and I could not wait to call my husband and daughter to tell them the exciting news!!
I raced home and my husband and daughter met me at the door. We hugged and then waited by the phone. Virginia called us exactly at the scheduled time. We talked for two hours that first night. She was amazing - friendly, sweet, outgoing, easy to talk to and so funny! As we were getting off the phone, we scheduled a time to meet face-to-face. The lunch date was in less than a week but it felt like an eternity to us!
Finally the day arrived. I was so nervous and so anxious that I could not even decide what to wear. I wanted so badly to make a good impression. What if she did not like us? I decided it was just important to be ourselves and hopefully she would like us who we are. I will never forget seeing Virginia for the first time. We were at a restaurant with caseworker and in walks a beautiful girl. She had long auburn hair, a smile filled with sunshine and the cutest baby bump ever!
As soon as she sat down we started talking and laughing. Lunch lasted over two hours and we talked about everything from our favorite foods, to favorite colors, to adventures we wanted to take. She was perfect and I could not believe we had so much in common. As lunch was coming to an end, Virginia reached across the table and held my hand. She said, “with all my heart I want you and Tom to be my baby’s parents. I was crying so hard all I could say was, “thank you, thank you and we promise to be the best parents in the world”. I will never forget that moment.
A few weeks went by and we continued to talk on the phone. Our relationship grew and so did our respect for this amazing young woman. We knew she had lots of choices and she chose to give her baby a better life. Virginia made a very, very, selfless parenting decision. One of the most amazing aspects of our journey with Virginia is that we named the baby together. Virginia had picked out a name for the baby and we had picked out a name for the baby. We decided we should tell each other the names and then name the baby together. Virginia had chosen the name Charles Benjamin. As she said the name out loud, Tom and I became very emotional and could not speak for a couple of minutes. Virginia took our silence to mean we did not like the name. However, it was the opposite reason. As fate would have it, the name we had picked out was Benjamin Charles. As soon as we told Virginia the unbelievable news she exclaimed, “we just named our baby”!!! What a beautiful sign this was of how connected we were and would always be. This is still one of my favorite parts of our adoption story.
One day at work I received the “magic phone call.” Our caseworker called to say our son had been born an hour ago and Virginia wanted me to call her. As we spoke, she told me how beautiful and perfect our son was and how she could not wait for us to meet him. I was sobbing so loudly my coworkers were concerned something baby had happened. The good news quickly spread and soon my friends were helping we get everything packed up so my maternity leave could start right then!!
Placement day is a day I will never forget. March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. We walked into the hospital room and saw Virginia sitting up in bed. She looked so happy and pretty. She was smiling from ear to ear and could not wait to show us our sweet, precious Ben. The first words out of her mouth were, “come hold your son. He likes to be held really close and really tightly." This is still true today, seven years later.
Words cannot describe how much we love Ben. He is the little soul that was missing from our family. He makes our family complete and we love him with all our hearts. We will FOREVER be grateful for the selfless and courageous decision Virginia made for Ben. She changed our life and she changed Ben’s life forever. She is an important part of our family and we always hold her in our hearts with great love and respect. We still pray for her every night and Ben loves to talk about her. He has nothing but love for what she gave him, a forever family!